Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

"Watchful waiting" has a new set of eyes

03.12.2010
New prostate cancer imaging shows real-time tumor metabolism

A UCSF research collaboration with GE Healthcare has produced the first results in humans of a new technology that promises to rapidly assess the presence and aggressiveness of prostate tumors in real time, by imaging the tumor’s metabolism.

This is the first time researchers have used this technology to conduct real-time metabolic imaging in a human patient and represents a revolutionary approach to assessing the precise outlines of a tumor, its response to treatment and how quickly it is growing.

Data on the first four patients will be presented on Dec. 2 at the Radiology Society of North America’s weeklong annual conference.

The initial results validate extensive preclinical research that has linked the speed at which tumors metabolize nutrients to the aggressiveness of their growth. The new imaging technique also has been used to show early biochemical changes in animal tumors in real time as they respond to medication therapy, long before a physical change occurs.

So far, the technology has produced the same response in human patients’ tumors as it did in laboratory studies, even at the lowest dose, according to Sarah Nelson, PhD, a professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and a member of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) at UCSF.

“This is a key milestone that could dramatically change clinical treatment for prostate cancer and many other tumors,” Nelson said. “We had shown this worked in animal models and tissues samples. Now, in men, we are seeing exactly the type of results we had hoped for.”

For an oncologist, that means immediate feedback on whether a patient’s therapy is working, either during standard treatment or in a clinical trial.

“If we can see whether a therapy is effective in real time, we may be able to make early changes in that treatment that could have a very real impact on a patient’s outcome and quality of life,” said Andrea Harzstark, MD, an oncologist with the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center who is leading the clinical aspects of the current study.

More than 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and 28,000 die from it, making it one of the most common cancer in men nationwide and also one of the leading causes of cancer death in men, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Yet the disease ranges widely in its rate of growth and aggressiveness, according to John Kurhanewicz, PhD, a UCSF expert in prostate cancer imaging. As a result, there is great debate over the ideal strategy for treating the disease, he said, leaving patients with a difficult and potentially life-changing decision over how aggressively to respond to the disease.

“This test could give both physicians and patients the information they need to make that decision,” said Kurhanewicz, whose work with Dan Vigneron, PhD, and their colleagues from the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging first linked a prostate tumor’s production of lactate to tumor aggressiveness. Other researchers also have linked that lactate production to tumor aggressiveness and response to therapy in other cancers.

The method uses compounds involved in normal tissue function – in this case, pyruvate, which is a naturally occurring by-product of glucose, and lactate, also known as lactic acid – and uses newly developed equipment to increase the visibility of those compounds by a factor of 50,000 in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.

That process requires pyruvate to be prepared in a strong magnetic field at a temperature of minus 272° C, then rapidly warmed to body temperature and transferred to the patient in an MRI scanner before the polarization decays back to its native state.

The result is a highly defined and clear image of the tumor’s outline, as well as a graph of the amount of pyruvate in the tumor and the rate at which the tumor converts the pyruvate into lactate.

The sterile production process requires a dedicated clinical pharmacist with the knowledge of both quality control and of clinical practice. As the birthplace of the field of clinical pharmacy and one of only a handful of schools nationwide with drug production expertise, the UCSF School of Pharmacy and contributions of Marcus Ferrone, PharmD, and his colleagues in the Drug Products Services Laboratory were integral to this process.

The procedure must take place within minutes, which meant integrating a clean room into the scanning facility. QB3 also worked with GE Healthcare in designing Byers Hall, in which the Surbeck Laboratory of Advanced Imaging is housed, to accommodate the extremely strong magnetic field of the MRI scanner and enable time-sensitive experiments.

“All of that insight is why we moved this technology to Northern California,” said Jonathan Murray, general manager, Metabolic Imaging at GE Healthcare. “This is a huge accomplishment UCSF and QB3 have achieved. They brought together the best engineering from UC Berkeley and the best bioscience and pharmacy knowledge from UCSF, and are now demonstrating the technology in a world-renowned academic medical center. We are delighted with the speed of progress of this collaboration. The science is very exciting.”

The first trial involves men with prostate cancer involved in the “watchful waiting” phase of treatment, Nelson said. Future studies will directly compare these data with the results from surgically removed tumors and will look at how specific therapies change tumor metabolism. UCSF also will be studying the process for use in brain tumor patients.

The project’s funding through the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, in the National Institutes of Health, was critical in adapting this technology for humans and developing new ways to obtain the MR metabolic imaging data. The project received further support from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act and the UC Discovery Program.

Initial development of this instrumentation and its demonstration of proof of principle was conducted by Jan Henrik Ardenkjaer-Larsen, Klaes Golman and other colleagues from across GE. UCSF customized that principle and obtained the Investigational New Drug (IND) approval from the Food and Drug Administration to use the hyperpolarized pyruvate in humans.

These concepts are still investigational and not being offered for sale, nor have they been cleared or approved by the FDA for commercial availability.

About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.

About QB3 and UCSF
QB3 is a cooperative effort among private industry and more than 200 scientists at UCSF, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. One of four California technology institutes, QB3 harnesses the quantitative sciences of information technology, imaging and engineering to integrate and enhance scientific understanding of biological systems, enabling scientists to tackle problems that have been previously unapproachable. Please visit www.qb3.org.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. For more information on UCSF, visit www.ucsf.edu. For specific information on UCSF imaging, visit: www.radiology.ucsf.edu/research.

Follow UCSF on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ucsf

Kristen Bole | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsf.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>